An elderly woman and her husband burgled by teenagers while they slept in their Whangarei home say parents should be held accountable for their children's criminal activities.
The couple in their 70s, who did not want to be identified, said they were still suffering as a result of the home invasion, last Saturday at 4am.
Three youths, aged between 14 and 16, were detained by police shortly after the couple disturbed intruders in their home, taking out a second load of property.
"The bloody mongrels. I've nearly had a breakdown since then," the woman said.
She has been to the doctor for medication and has been having her blood pressure tested daily.
"It's time the public knew what these mongrels are doing and it's time their parents were charged.
"Why aren't the parents responsible for these children?
"The police do what they can but, to me, their parents should be held accountable.
"Even though we were not physically attacked, the trauma, shock and sheer terror of having three repugnant, pathetic, wanna-be third generation gangsters confront you in your own home is everyone's worst nightmare."
What should happen next was clear to her.
"The parents should be charged. They are bloody mongrels letting them do this."
Her husband managed to chase the intruders away but the couple were left utterly shaken by the incident.
"We've had no trouble in the 10 years we have been here and now I don't feel so safe."
The couple had nothing but praise for the police, who arrived within five minutes of their making a 111 call.
A police dog and handler had helped link the trio to the house, she said. "They treated us so well. They could see we were distressed. I was shaking."
She was particularly impressed that Whangarei police area commander Inspector Tracy Phillips and another female officer had gone to her home later on Saturday to check how they were.
"I've never had to deal with police before. I thanked them personally but I want to thank them publicly. They do a great job, even while they are under-staffed.
"Police in Whangarei are unbelievable in their humane understanding and care of victims."
Police are calling for people who may have noticed people on their properties to contact them on (09) 430 4500 or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.